Circus 157 Exhibition – 11.07.20. > 09.08.20.






More information about Circus 157 here and here and František Fajtl here.




Posted in 313 Sqd, Events, Exhibitions, Forthcoming Events, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Modra Krev




Modrá krev


v protinacistickém odboji:

Několik příběhů z okupované vlasti i frontových linií

od

Zdeněk Hazdra; Jiří Plachý; Jiří Rajlich




Jak napovídá název knihy “Modrá krev v protinacistickém odboji – několik příběhů z okupované vlasti i frontových linií” trojice autorů Zdeňka Hazdry, Jiřího Plachého a Jiřího Rajlicha, je věnovaná osobnostem, v jejichž žilách kolovala pomyslná modrá krev. Ačkoliv vztahy šlechty a prvorepublikového Československa byly v mnohém problematické, dala v těchto časech významná část představitelů urozených rodů najevo svoji sounáležitost se zemí a národem. I když mezi nimi převládal odtažitý či rezervovaný postoj k republikánskému uspořádání (jen několik z nich přijalo republiku opravdu za svou), zachovávali své zemi loajalitu. Spojovala je touha žít ve svobodě, odpor vůči politice hitlerovského Německa a silné pouto k českým zemím.

Tito zástupci šlechtických rodů nezůstali lhostejní rozpínavosti německých nacistů a dokázali se jim postavit v rámci domácí rezistence (Zdenko Radslav Kinský, František Kinský, Karel VI. Schwarzenberg, František Schwarzenberg, Jindřich Kolowrat-Krakovský, Zdeněk Bořek-Dohalský) i na frontových liniích druhé světové války v řadách britské RAF i československých vojenských jednotek (Manfred Beckett Czernin, Bedřich Jeroným Colloredo-Mannsfeld, Franz Ferdinand Colloredo-Mannsfeld, Eduard Josef Lobkowicz, Marián Jiří Patzelt).

Publisher:
Vydavatel
Tváře
ISBN: 978-80-88041-22-1
Format:
Počet stran
Hardback, 144 pages
A4, Vázaná kniha, 144 stran
Language:
Jazyk
Czech
Česky
Published:
Publikováno
2019
Price:
Cena
269 Kč




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South West Battle of Britain Memorial


With 2020 being the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, a worthy project to remember the 544 fallen Allied airmen of that battle, eight of whom were Czechoslovak.

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More details of this worthy project where you can make your own personal tribute and help create a lasting legacy to their remembrance here

The fallen eight Czechoslovak Battle of Britain pilots:

FECHTNER Emil P/O
DFC
310 Sqn
† 29/10/40

FRANTIŠEK, Josef Sgt
DFM and bar
303 Sqn
† 08/10/40

GÖTH, Vilém, P/O
510, 310 Sqn
† 25/10/40

HANZLÍČEK, Otto Sgt
C de G
312 Sqn
† 10/10/40

HLAVÁČ, Jaroslav Sgt
C de G
310, 56 Sqns
† 10/10/40

HORSKÝ, Vladimír Sgt
310, 238 Sqns
† 26/09/40

MAREK, František Sgt
C de G
310, 19 Sqns
† 14/09/40

ŠTĚRBÁČEK, Jaroslav P/O
310 Sqn
† 31/08/40

_______________________________________________________________

Following the German defeat of France in 1940, Hitler planned to invade Great Britain and the prelude to this invasion – Operation Sealion – was the Battle of Britain. This battle was unique as it was the first time that a battle had been fought – and won – entirely by the use of aircraft. At the start of July 1940, the Royal Air Force had a strength of 640 fighter aircraft whilst the German Luftwaffe had a force of 2600 fighters and bombers.

The battle lasted officially from 10 July until 31 October 1940 and involved 2,938 Allied aircrew – the majority aged between 18 to 22 years old – from the following countries:

Australia 32
Barbados 1
Belgium 28
Canada 112
Czechoslovakia 88
France 13
Great Britain 2342
Ireland 10
Jamaica 1
New Zealand 127
Poland 145
Rhodesia 3
South Africa 25
USA 9

A total of 2938 Allied airmen – pilots, navigators and air-gunners fought in this battle, by 31 October 1940, 544 Allied aircrew had died in combat whilst 422 were wounded. The Luftwaffe had 967 airmen captured and 2698 killed. During the conflict both sides overstated the number of enemy aircraft that they had shot down. Post WW2 examination of military archives show that the Royal Air Force had suffered the loss of 792 of their aircraft whilst the Luftwaffe had lost 1,389 aircraft.

The 88 Czechoslovak pilots who fought in this battle served in 310 and 312 Sqns. both of which were Czechoslovak RAF Squadrons. Others flew in British RAF Squadrons of 1, 17, 19, 43, 46, 56, 85, 111, 238, 245, 253, 501, 601 and 605. Josef František – the most successful Allied pilot in the battle with 17 Luftwaffe planes shot down in a 28 day period – flew with 303 Sqn. which was a Polish Squadron in the RAF. Eight of them were killed during this battle with others being wounded some, like Josef Koukal being badly burned and facially disfigured.

_______________________________________________________________




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750,000!


We are very pleased and proud to announce that today this site has now achieved :

Jsme potěšeni a s hrdostí oznamujeme dosažení dalšího milníku:

750,000 pages read / navštívení

A big ‘Thank you’ to all our readers, from all around the world, for their support in enabling this significant achievement to be accomplished.

Těch 750.000 návštěvníků jistě přispělo k tomu, že byl svět obeznámen s úsilím, činy, námahou a oběťmi československých žen a mužů, kteří ve druhé světové válce sloužili v RAF.

We consider that this three-quarter million achievement has contributed to ensure that the endeavours, achievements, hardships and losses of the Czechoslovak men and women who served in the RAF during WW2 are better known around the world.

Domníváme se, že dosažení tři čtvrtě milionu návštěvníka je především známkou toho, že jsme přispěli touto cestou k lepšímu poznání působení, úspěchů, ale také těžkých chvil všech československých mužů a žen, kteří sloužili v RAF během 2. světové války.

We very much value the support, encouragement and assistance we have received from the numerous relatives of those men and women in our quest to provide an accurate online resource of information about those Czechoslovak RAF men and women.

Velice si ceníme podpory, povzbuzení a pomoci od mnoha příbuzných těchto hrdinů, které nám pomáhají poskytovat co nejpřesnější obraz životních osudů těchto československých mužů a žen ve službách RAF.

It has been very much a team effort and we take this opportunity to thank all our dedicated volunteer team of researchers, contributors, translators, supporters, graphic designers and many other roles without whom this significant achievement would not have been accomplished.

Byla to především týmová práce a my využíváme této příležitosti, abychom poděkovali celému týmu našich fundovaných dobrovolníků za jejich studie, příspěvky, překlady, dárcovství, grafické úpravy a řadu dalších činností, bez nichž by nemohlo být takovéhoto úspěchu dosaženo.

A special mention and thanks to all our readers who have kindly donated funds to help finance the running costs of this site to ensure that this online resource of information continues.

Zvláštní zmínka a dík patří také všem našim čtenářům, kteří laskavě darovali finanční prostředky na úhradu provozních nákladů této stránky, a jsou tak zárukou toho, že tento on-line zdroj informací bude i nadále pokračovat.

Thank you all.

Děkujeme Vám všem.





Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Information, Not Forgotton | 2 Comments

01.07.20. – Vystava – Vetrny Jenikov



Dne 1.7. 2020 proběhne pro tisk a pro pozvané hosty v 10.00 hodin slavnostní otevření výstavy Na křídlech za lva – Větný Jeníkov. Výstava je umístěna v přízemí zámku ve Větrném Jeníkově. Vchod z nádvoří. Od 2.7.2020 po celý červenec a srpen, vždy ve čtvrtek až neděli, bude otevřeno pro veřejnost. První komentovaná prohlídka začíná vždy v 9,00 hod. poslední prohlídka začíná v 16.00 hod. Délka prohlídky je cca 45 minut. Počet osob je omezen prostory, proto pořadatelé žádají návštěvníky, aby využívali celý den a nedocházelo ke kumulaci v poledních hodinách.

Hlavním cílem je přiblížit návštěvníkům odkaz 2500 československých letců a vojáků, kteří za II. světové války bojovali za naši svobodu v řadách britského královského letectva RAF a kterým se poúnorový režim odvděčil kriminály a uranovými doly…

Exponáty jsou rozděleny do 15 sekcí. Návštěvníci zde naleznou například sekce: první republika, protektorát, záchrana na moři, pozemní personál, ochrana obyvatel, život v RAF, Operations room, Anthropoid, radiostanice, apod.

Je zde vystavena také rozsáhlá sbírka plastikových, kovových i dřevěných modelů letadel z období kolem druhé světové války.

Hlavní organizátor je Czech Spitfire Club, spolek letecké historie. Výstava pak vznikla spoluprací několika subjektů, z nichž nejvýznamnější jsou: městys Větrný Jeníkov, Promedica Praha Group, a.s., Aviation Art Gallery, Klub plastikových modelářů Jihlava, Anglický nákup. Děkujeme i celé řadě dalších organizací a jednotlivců.

Expozice je zhruba jednou třetinou ze sbírek připravovaného muzea, ale i tak je ve třech výstavních místnostech na co se dívat. Výstava by měla být obdobně otevřena i v letech 2021 a 2022. Expozicí provedou školení průvodci. Ti se kromě výkladu budou snažit též odpovědět na případné otázky návštěvníků.

Bližší údaje na webu www.czechspitfireclub.cz

Organizátoři se těší na všechny návštěvníky, kteří se chtějí dozvědět něco zajímavého o naší historii a mají rádi letectví.




Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Events, Exhibitions, Forthcoming Events, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Czechoslovak Depots WW2



Every Czechoslovak airman serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve had to pass this unit several times during World War Two. The Depot’s purpose was the housing, training and classification of Czechoslovak officers and airmen, who had escaped to Britain with the intent of service with the Royal Air Force.

Typical situations why an airman would be posted there:

– reception of novices into the RAF VR (mostly from Czechoslovak Army or civilians),

– uniform allotment, initial RAF drill,

– waiting for posting to different training schools,

– waiting for posting overseas (typical training in Canada),

– waiting for posting to operation squadron or non-operational service,

– non-operational service when their finished tour of operations, including study leave,

– discharge from the RAF VR (medical reasons, another service outside the RAF, bad character, end of hostilities, …)

Czechoslovak Airmen in a Machine Training Workshop, RAF Cosford, July 1940.
Note that they are still wearing their French l’Arme d’Air uniforms.

Czechoslovak RAF Depots during WW2 :

Location: From: To:
Cosford 12 July 1940 19 December 1940
Wilmslow 19 December 1940 14 February 1942
St. Athan 14 February 1942 8 May 1944
Cosford 8 May 1944 1946

The first Czechoslovak Depot was at RAF Cosford, near Wolverhampton, which since 1938 was No 2 School of Technical Training, an RAF trade training school in RAF Technical Training Command. On arrival here the Czechoslovak airmen, by way of a Trade Test Board, were tested for their aviation trade skills – armourers, engines and airframes. Any of whom were already qualified – and met RAF standards – were posted directly to Czechoslovak squadrons within the RAF or, if surplus, to other RAF units. Their ability to communicate in English to the required standard was also a requirement and so English language tuition was also given. The same criteria applied to pilots, navigators, wireless operators and air-gunners. Those not meeting the required RAF standard remained at the Depot until called forward for further training at specialist training schools, then returned to the Depot immediately afterwards until formally posted to a squadron or other facility. Subsequently, the Czechoslovak Depot was relocated to Wilmslow, Cheshire, then St Athan, Glamorgan before returning back to Cosford at the end of WW2.

Training Room.

On 10 July 1940, the first contingent of the Czechoslovak airmen, consisting of 11 officers and 320 other ranks under the command of Major Karel Šifner, arrived at the Cosford Depot, from RAF Innsworth, Gloucester, following their evacuation from France. A week later a further 74 officers and 17 other ranks, under command of Lt/Col. V. Roik, arrived. Over the subsequent week’s many other airmen arrived, including, on 26 October 1940, 11 Czechoslovak officers and 6 airmen arrived from Liverpool; this party representing men who, having fought in Poland, were taken prisoner in Russia and subsequently released. Some had travelled via Syria and Palestine; others came via Turkey and Egypt.

Airframe training RAF Cosford, July 1940.
Note that they are still wearing their French l’Arme d’Air uniforms.

Although remote from their oppressed homeland, from all accounts Czechoslovak personnel at least found an agreeable temporary home in the Fulton block at RAF Cosford from which they could maintain their struggle to regain the freedom of their homeland.

Fulton Block, RAF Cosford.

In the early days at Cosford, most of the Czechoslovak airmen still wore their l’Arme d’Air uniform and as RAF uniform supplies became available changed to RAF uniform which bore the ‘Czechoslovakia’ badge on the upper sleeve.

Czechoslovak airmen, Wilmslow 1941.

Czechoslovak trade trainee’s, St Athan, 1943.

By the time the Czechoslovak Depot moved to Wilmslow, in December 1940, some Czechoslovak RAF 153 officers and 525 men had passed through the Depot prior to being posted to operational squadrons.

Classroom training at St Athans.

Czechoslovak airmen trade trainees, St Athan 1943.

President Dr Eduard Beneš with Czechoslovak airmen, Cosford 9 August 1940.

President Dr Eduard Beneš with Czechoslovak airmen, Cosford August 1940,
Note that they are still wearing their French l’Arme d’Air uniforms.

On 9 August 1940, Dr Edurd Beneš, President of Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile in London, visited the unit; he arrived by air and was met by Air Marshal William Gore Sutherland Mitchell (second Inspector General of the RAF), Air Vice-Marshal Conway Walter Heath Pulford (Air Officer Commanding No 20 Group), Group Captain William Douglas Budgen (Officer Commanding RAF Cosford) and Colonel Josef Berounský. A guard of honour was inspected while the Czech National Anthem was played. Dr Beneš and his party were entertained in the Officers’ Mess, after which the officers and men of the Czechoslovak Depot were inspected and marched past; Dr Beneš addressed the parade before departing by air.

Czechoslovak airmen marchpast by Dr Eduard Beneš, Cosford 9 August 1940.

On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic (1943), the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Technical Training Command forwarded a message to Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Janoušek, Director-General Czechoslovak Air Force, expressing his admiration of the Czechoslovak Air Force personnel serving with the RAF. In reply, AVM Janoušek stated, “It is indeed our privilege and pride to fight side by side with the Royal Air Force. The spirit of comradeship and sterling qualities we have seen in every member of this finest Force in the world has been an inspiration to us all and we are determined to continue our common task with all our strength until final victory”.

Czechoslovak airmen Cosford 1945.

RAF Cosford, March 1945., Czechoslovak airmen on Study Course for their University Entrance Exams.

A Czechoslovak airman remembers RAF Cosford :


Remembrance :

Memorial to the 70,000 airmen who undertook their RAF Technical Training at RAF Cosford, since 1938.





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Albin Nassvetter





Albín NASSWETER

…………….* 21.01.1919. Prague.

…………….† 17.06.1941. Dover, UK.








Pre WW2

Albín Nasswetter, was born on 21 January 1919, in Prague, Czechoslovakia. His father was a Doctor and shortly after Albín was born, the family moved to Dolany, near Olomouc, in the Moravia region of Czechoslovakia.

On completion of his education, he worked as a technical clerk but aspired to follow in his father’s footsteps and study medicine. He also became interested in aviation and he joined the Hanácký Aeroclub at Olomouc where he learnt to fly gliders. For his compulsory military service at 18 he joined the Czechoslovak Air Force and was selected for pilot training. When the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939, he had achieved 73 flying hours.

Poland

Upon occupation, the Czechoslovak Air Force was disbanded by the Germans and all personnel dismissed. Germanisation of Bohemia and Moravia began immediately. But just four days later, on 19 March 1939, former Senior officers of the now-disbanded Czechoslovak military had started to form an underground army, known as Obrana Národa [Defense of the Nation]. Obrana Národa worked in co-operation with Svaz Letců, the Airman Association of the Czechoslovak Republic. One of their objectives was to assist as many airmen and soldiers to get to neighbouring Poland where they could be formed into military units to fight for the liberation of their homeland. These two organisations provided money, courier and other assistance to enable airmen to escape. . Usually, this was by crossing the border from the Ostrava region into Poland. Albín was one of the many Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers who saw it was their duty to go to Poland from where they could fight to achieve the liberation of Czechoslovakia. A total of 29 of his fellow pilots from the Hanácký Aeroclub also managed to escape from Czechoslovakia, and to reach England where they joined the RAF: only 10 of them would survive the war.

Albín and other pre-War Hanácký Aeroclub members who were to join the RAF.

With the help of those two organisations, Albín successfully managed to covertly cross the border into Poland and reported to the Czechoslovak Consulate at Krakow, from where he was transferred to Małe Bronowice, a former Polish Army barracks on the outskirts of Krakow which was being utilised as a temporary transit camp for the escaped Czechoslovak military. Albín, along with 546 other escapees went by train to Gdynia, on the Polish Baltic coast. There they boarded the ‘Chroby’, sailing on 29 July and arriving at Boulogne on 31 July that year.

In France

In France, the Czechoslovaks were required to join the French Foreign Legion for a five- year period, as foreign military units per not permitted in France in peacetime. With his fellow escapees, Albín went by train to Paris, reporting for duty at the French Foreign Legion’s Recruitment Centre. On 9 September, when WW2 was declared he was, released from his Foreign Legion Service and transferred to l’Armée de l’Air at their Recruitment Centre at Bourges airbase, about 200 km south of Paris. On completion of his basic training and having learnt some French, he was posted, on 25 January 1940, to their Fighter training airbase at Avord where he trained on NA-57, MS-225, D-500, D-501, and D-570 training aircraft, completing 120 flying hrs.

The rapid German Blitzkreig forced the Allied frontline back, and by mid-June the French capitulation was imminent. Albín and his fellow Czechoslovak airmen were discharged from their l’Armée de l’Air service on 16 June, and they made their way to La Verdon sur Mer, on the Atlantic coast near Bordeaux. There, on 19 June, with other evacuees, they boarded the ‘Ville de Liege’ which then sailed to England, arriving at Liverpool on 25 June.

RAF

On arriving in the UK, once security checks had been completed, he was accepted into the RAF VR, at the rank of AC2 and transferred to the Czechoslovak Depot at RAF Cosford, where he undertook RAF training and English lessons. Albín was posted to 52 OTU at Aston Down for fighter pilot training, where he achieved his RAF pilots wings in April 1941. On the 22nd of that month, at the rank of Sgt, Albín was posted to 1 Sqn who were deployed at RAF Croydon and equipped with Hurricane IIb fighter aircraft. At that time the squadron was engaged in intruder operations over occupied northern France and had eight other Czechoslovak pilots on its complement.

His first flight with 1 Sqn was on 24 April when he flew Hurricane Z2810 on a sector reconnaissance flight with fellow Czechoslovak F/O Antonin Velebenobsky. Albín flew further training flights and convoy patrols during the next few weeks.

On 21 May 21, 1 Sqn participated in Circus 10, which was providing bomber escort to 27 Blenheim bombers from 21, 82 and 110 Sqns, on a raid on the power station at Gosnay, about 75 miles south-east of Calais. The Blenheims took off at 15:47 and at 17:00 they rendezvoused, with the Kenley Wing which was comprised of 1, 258 and 302 Sqns. An additional 10 other RAF fighter Squadrons also provided cover for that operation. At about 17:45, the Blenheims were approaching the target, when Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109f’s from III./JG 3, based at St Pol-Brias airfield, attacked from above, diving through the RAF top cover fighter escort which included 1 Sqn. In the ensuing combat, two Bf 109s were claimed to have been shot down by Sgt Bedřich Krátkoruký (Z3165) and Sgt Karel Kuttelwascher (Z3160) with five others damaged by S/Ldr Richard P. Brooker, DFC, F/Lt Antonín Velebnovský (Z3241), P/O Raymond, Sgt Albín Nassvetter (Z2390) and Sgt Josef Dygrýn (Z2628). Albín had seen a Bf 109f attacking Red 1 from below and turned in immediately giving two short bursts from his guns and saw pieces fall off the Bf 109f. Three other Bf 109f then chased Albín back over the French coast, where he was met by Spitfires who escorted him home.

On 16 June, he failed to return from a patrol over the English Channel. For that patrol, 12 Hurricanes from 1 Sqn took-off from Redhill at 17:31 to provide top-cover for a Lysander on Search and Rescue duty looking for pilots shot down mid-channel from the previous Circus 13 aimed at the docks in Boulogne. Nine of those Hurricanes were piloted by Czechoslovaks (P/O Liška, P/O Kopecký, Sgt Dygrýn, Sgt Novák, Sgt Příhoda, Sgt Plášil, Sgt Pavlů, Sgt Nassvetter and Sgt Novotný). Spitfires from 91 Sqn were also providing top-cover. Albín was flying as Yellow 2, in Hurricane Z3460, when, around 17:50, they attacked five Bf 109 fighter aircraft, from from I./JG 26 and from 8./JG 26 Schlageter, which were escorting a Luftwaffe He 59 seaplane, also on Search and Rescue duty. The attack took place at 3000 feet about 10 miles South of Folkestone and lasted for about 20 minutes. The He 59 and 3 Bf 109s were shot down for the RAF loss of 1 Spitfire, flown by P/O D. H. Gage, and 1 Hurricane, flown by Albín. Around 17.50 Albín was shot down by Bf 109 from I./JG 26 Schlageter. With his Hurricane in flames, he bailed out and landed in the English Channel.

“We flew in a circle … and Germans fitted alternately between us” recalls Nassvetter’s friend Sgt. Josef Novotny at a later date. He continues “I was circling in my aircraft and I latch onto one of the Messerschmitts. Behind me was another enemy fighter and he was destroying me, however, he was being shot at by Albin who was further back still. We were four one after another. Albin was hit … he went down on his parachute and landed on water. I spotted him aboard his dinghy and noticed that his hand was raised. I thought, Albin is good. I led a fast boat to his dinghy, which pulled it out, and then I covered the boat. However, he was on fire and had severe burns. He died last night, and I never saw him again.”

An Air Sea Rescue launch from Dover was quickly on the scene and rescued Albín taking him back to Dover where he was taken to hospital. That night he succumbed in hospital to the burn injuries he had received.

On 21 June 1941, Sgt Albín Nassvetter was buried in grave no. H-31, at St. Luke Churchyard, Whiteleaf, Surrey (grave no. H-31). he was 22 years old.

Remembered

Czech Republic :

Dolany

Olomouc

Prague – Dejvice

Prague – Klarov

Great Britain :

Nutfield:





Posted in Biography, Not Forgotton | 1 Comment

Czech the Czech connection



The Kent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge, Kent, UK, houses the world’s largest collection of artifacts and memorabilia from that 16 week battle.

The Kent Battle of Britain Museum v britském Kentu uchovává největší světovou sbírku artefaktů a památek připomínajících 16 týdnů bitvy o Británii.

S/Ldr Alexander Hess

During the Autumn of 2019, the Museum acquired a CASA 2.111.B. from the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. On inspection of the airframe, whilst still at Duxford, the team of Volunteers from the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust were excited to discover construction plates that showed she was originally constructed as a Heinkel He 111H-16 (we believe in 1942), exported to Spain in late 1943 and converted to a CASA 2.111.B in February 1952, when her Jumo 211 engines were exchanged to Rolls Royce Merlins.

Na podzim 2019 muzeum získalo z Imperial War Museum v Duxfordu stroj CASA 2.111.B. Při prohlídce rámu letadla, tou dobou stále ještě v Duxfordu, s překvapením objevil tým dobrovolníků z The Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust konstrukční štítky, které odhalily, že původně byl tento stroj postaven jako Heinkel He-111H-16 (přepokládáme, že v roce 1942). Koncem roku 1943 byl převezen do Španělska a v únoru 1952 přestavěn na CASA 2.111.B, kdy došlo k výměně motorů Jumo 211 za motory Rolls Royce Merlin.

F/Lt Jerrard Jefferies

Prior to being at Duxford it had been a gate-guardian in Spain and had been used in the 1968 film ‘The Battle of Britain’ in which it had flown 13.5 hours. During that Winter to Spring 2020, the Museum restored to a Heinkel He 111H-2 bomber, in the livery of A1+DA from Stab Kampfgeschwader 53 which was shot down on 15 September 1940 – now commemorated as Battle of Britain Day – over East London. In the UK, there are only two examples of a Heinkel He III and A1+DA being the only bomber variant. More information about its past was revealed when the paintwork was removed from the leading edge of the port wing stub, when German style battle damage repair to a bullet hole was discovered, confirming that it had flown with the Luftwaffe during WW2 and had seen combat.

Dříve, než se dostal do Duxfordu, byl umístěn u brány do kasáren ve Španělsku. V roce 1968 se objevil ve filmu „The Battle of Britain“, při jehož natáčení nalétal 13,5 hodiny. V průběhu zimy 2019/2020 a následujícího jara ho zrestaurovali do podoby bombardéru Heinkel He-111H-2 v barvách stroje A1-DA od Stab Kampfgeschwader 53, sestřeleného 15. září 1940. Tento den je dnes připomínán jako Den bitvy o Británii nad východním Londýnem. V Británii se dochovaly dva kusy stroje Heinkel He-111 a A1+DA, je tedy jediným zachovaným kusem výše uvedené varianty. Další údaje o jeho minulosti se objevily po odstranění nátěru náběžné hrany pravého centroplánu, kde byla objevena oprava průstřelu kulkou provedená typicky německým způsobem. To potvrzuje, že tento stroj používala za druhé světové války Luftwaffe a prošel bojovým střetnutím.

Sgt Josef Vopálecký

On 15 September, the 1st and 2nd Gruppen of Kampfgeschwader 53, comprising of twenty-four Heinkel He 111’s, had taken off from Lille-Nord in France and met twenty-eight Heinkel He 111’s of Kampfgeschwader 26, forty-three Dornier Do 17’s of Kampfgeschwader 2 and nineteen Dornier Do 17’s of Kampfgeschwader 3 north of Boulogne at 14:05 hours. Accompanied by approximately four hundred and fifty fighters they crossed the coast at Dungeness heading towards their targets in London. Arriving over East London at 14:45 hours, Kampfgeschwader 53, in the centre column, were hit by forty-one RAF fighters. It was during the ensuing dogfight that A1+DA was shot down.

15. září 1940 odstartovalo z francouzského letiště Lille-Nord 22 stojů Heinkel 111 od 1. a 2. skupiny 53. bombardovací eskadry. Severně od Bolougne se ve 14:05 spojily s osmadvaceti stroji Heinkel He-111 od 26. bombardovací eskadry, třiačtyřiceti stroji Dornier Do-17 do 3. bombardovací eskadry a devatenácti Dorniery Do-17 od 3. bombardovací eskadry. Doprovázelo je přibližně čtyřistapadesát stíhačů. Společně překročily pobřeží v Dungeness a směřovaly ke svým cílům v Londýně. Nad město se dostaly ve 14:45. Bombardovací eskadra 53 v centrální části skupiny byla napadena jedenačtyřiceti stíhači RAF. V průběhu tohoto střetnutí byl A1+DA sestřelen.

Heinkel He 111H-2 A1+DA of of Kampfgeschwader 53, taken shortly before it was shot down on 15 September 1940.
Heinkel He 111H-2 A1+Da od Kampfgeschwader 53 zachycený na fotografii krátce před tím, než byl 15.září 1940 sestřelen

Sgt Rudolf Zima

Heinkel He 111H-2 Werke No. 3140 (coded A1+DA) of Stab Kampfgeschwader 53 was shot down by British fighters at 14:50 hours on Sunday 15th September 1940 whilst on a bombing raid to attack the Becton Gas Works, in East London. Shortly after releasing its twelve bombs, which dropped near the Becton Gas Works, it is believed to have been intercepted and shot down by Sgt Bohumír Fürst of 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron but was also possibly attacked by F/O Blair D. Russell of No. 1 (RCAF) Squadron.

Heinkel He 111H-2, výrobní číslo 3140 (A1+DA), od 53. bombardovací eskadry byl sestřelen britskými stíhači v neděli 15. září 1940 ve 14:50 při útoku na Becton Gas Works ve východním Londýně. Krátce po shození svých dvanácti bomb, které dopadly poblíž cíle, byl pravděpodobně napaden a sestřelen Sgt. Bohumírem Furstem z 310. československé stíhací perutě. Dalším možným útočníkem byl F/O Blair D. Russel, příslušník 1. kanadské perutě.

P/O Svatopluk Janouch



At 14:15 hours, that day, 12 Hurricanes of 310 (Czechoslovak) Sqn, led by F/Lt Jerrard Jefferies, had taken-off from Duxford for their second engagement of the day. They formed a Wing with 611, 19, 242 and 302 Sqns to intercept the enemy raid on London. On approaching London from the North, at 24,000 feet, the Wing sighted several formations of 20 to 30 Luftwaffe aircraft, consisting of Do 215’s, Do 217’s, He III’s and escorted by Me 109 and Me 110 fighter aircraft. It had been arranged that the Spitfires (19 and 611 Sqns) were to attack the fighters, the Hurricanes (242, 302 and 310 Sqns) taking on the bombers.


Sgt Josef Hubáček.

Toho dne ve 14:15 dvanáct Hurricanů 310. československé perutě vedených F/Lt. Jerrardem Jefferiesem odstartovalo z Duxfordu ke svému druhému operačnímu letu dne. Spolu s 611., 19., 242. a 302. perutí zformovaly wing a vydaly se ke střetnutí s nepřáteli nad Londýnem. Při přiblížení se k městu od severu ve výšce 24.000 stop zpozoroval wing několik formací tvořených dvaceti až třiceti stroji. Jednalo se o bombardéry Do-215, Do-217, He-111 v doprovodu stíhačů Me-109 a Me-110. Bylo rozhodnuto, že Spitfiry 19. a 611. perutě zaútočí na stíhací doprovod a Hurricany (242., 302. a 310. peruť) se zaměřily na bombardéry.

S/Ldr Hess, 310 Sqn leading ‘A’ Flight, consisting of ‘Red Section’ S/Ldr Alexander Hess. P/O Stanislav Fejfar, Sgt Bohumír Fürst, ‘Yellow Section’ P/O Svatopluk Janouch, Sgt Rudolf Zima and Sgt Eduard Prchal, followed 310 Sqn ‘B’ Flight, consisting of ‘Blue Section’ ‘F/Lt Gerard Jefferies, Sgt Josef Vopálecký, Sgt Josef Řechka, ‘Green Section’ Sgt Josef Hubáček, Sgt Raimund Půda and Sgt Jan Kaucký, in line astern in Sections. Luftwaffe fighters, escorting their bombers attacked ‘A’ Flight from the port and a general dogfight ensued.

Sgt Josef Řechka

S/Ldr. Hess vedl letku „A“ složenou z „Červené sekce“ (S/Ldr.Alexander Hess, P/O Stanislav Fejfar a Sgt. Bohumír Furst) a “Žluté sekce“ (P/O Svatopluk Janouch, Sgt. Rudolf Zima a Sgt. Eduard Prchal). Před nimi do útoku jedna za druhou po sekcích letěla letka „B“ složená z „Modré sekce“ (F/Lt.Gerard Jefferies, Sgt. Josef Vopálecký, Sgt. Josef Řechka) a „Zelené sekce“ (Sgt. Josef Hubáček, Sgt. Raimund Půda a Sgt. Jan Kaucký). Stíhači německého doprovodu napadli letku „A“ z pravé strany a začalo střetnutí.

S/Ldr Hess’s aircraft was hit by cannon shells and he was forced to bail-out at only 500ft, landing uninjured at Billericay. Sgt Hrbáček, leading Green Section was also a casualty of that dogfight, being forced to bail-out for the same reason, landing at Chatham, with slight injuries.

Sgt. Eduard Prchal

Stroj S/Ldr. Hesse byl zasažen palbou z kanónu a on byl nucen vyskočit na padáku v pouhých 500 stopách. Dopadl v Billericay nezraněn. Sgt. Hrbáček, vedoucí zelené sekce, byl sestřelen v tomtéž střetnutí. Ze stejného důvodu vyskočil na padáku a s lehkými zraněními dopadl v Chathamu.

Sgt Řechka, flying as Blue 3, chased a He III and attacked it with two other Hurricanes, he saw it crash on Foulness Island, which was witnessed by Sgt Prchal. P/O Fejfar, flying as Red 2 attacked and shot down a Do 17 which landed near Grain, 2 of the crew being taken prisoner. Sgt Vopálecký, Blue 2, saw a twin-engined aircraft marked with black crosses on upper wing surfaces and attacked it with two other Hurricanes but it escaped into the clouds. Yellow Section leader P/O Janouch sighted a seaplane when attacking another Luftwaffe fighter from above and rear which he believed to be a He 115.

Sgt Jan Kaucký

Sgt. Řechka, který letěl jako „modrá 3“, pronásledoval He 111 a spolu s dalšími dvěma Hurricany na něj zaútočil. Viděl ho pak dopadnout na zem na Foulness Island. Svědkem mu byl Sgt. Prchal, F/O Fejfar. P/O Fejfar, který letěl jako „červená 2“ zaútočil na Do 17 a úspěšně ho sestřelil. Dornier přistál nedaleko Grainu a dva členové posádky byli vzati do zajetí. Sgt. Vopálecký, „modrá 2“, zpozoroval dvoumotorový stroj označený černým křížem na horní straně křídel a spolu se dvěma dalšími Hurricany na něj zaútočil. Bombardéru se ovšem podařilo ukrýt v mracích. Vedoucí žluté sekce P/O Janoch útočil shora zezadu na německý stíhací letoun a v tom spatřil hydroplán, o němž se domníval, že je Heinkel He-115.

Green 4, Sgt Kaucký, whose leader had been hit and bailed out, attacked with 2 Spitfires a Do 215 which went down in smoke uncontrolled to the ground.

Zelená 4, Sgt. Kaucký, lídr sekce byl sestřelen a vyskočil na padáku, zaútočil spolu se dvěma Spitfiry na Do-215. Tento stroj se v kouři nekontrolovaně zřítil k zemi.

Red 3, Sgt Fürst followed a formation of Do 215’s and He III’s he attacked a He III which was some distance from the formation. From his Combat Report about the attack:

Sgt Bohumír Fürst

Červená 3, Sgt. Fürst pronásledoval formaci strojů Dornier Do-215 a He-111. Zaútočil na He-111, který byl částečně mimo formaci. V jeho bojovém hlášení čteme.

“We were attacked by Me 109’s West of London. Our section was broken up and when I could not find anyone of the section, I followed a formation of Do 215’s and He III’s. I attacked one He III which was a distance from the formation. The gunner of the aircraft fired at me. After I fired the first burst at him he stopped firing, probably hit. I made another attack from the rear at about 50 yards and saw splinters falling off the aircraft smoke streaming out of the starboard engine and the He III went out of control to the ground. Before it had disappeared, it was attacked by two Spitfires/ Oil and glycol spirited out of my engine and the temperature of the glycol was over 150 deg and the oil over 100 deg. I glided after the He III under the clouds and after a while I saw him crash in a part of London, near the Thames and a huge fire started immediately. I landed at Stapleford airfield and after having my engine repaired I returned to Duxford.”

Sgt Raimund Půda

„Západně od Londýna jsme byli napadení stroji Me-109. Naše sekce se rozpadla a nemohl jsem nikoho z ní najít. Pronásledoval jsem formaci strojů Do-215 a He-111. Napadl jsem jeden Heinkel He-111, který se nacházel mimo formaci. Jeho střelec na mě začal pálit. Poté, co jsem já vypálil první dávku, jeho střelba ustala, pravděpodobně byl zasažen. Provedl jsem další útok zezadu, přibližně z padesáti yardů, a viděl jsem, jak z letounu odpadávají úlomky a z levého motoru se valil dým. Stroj šel nekontrolovaně k zemi. Předtím, než mi zmizel z očí, byl napaden dvěma Spitfiry. Z mého motoru unikal glykol a olej a teplota glykolu byla přes 150 stupňů Farenheita, olej měl přes 100 stupňů Farenheita. Klouzavým letem jsem klesl pod mraky za Heinkelem a po chvilce ho viděl havarovat v Londýně, nedaleko Temže. Okamžitě se objevil obrovský plamen. Přistál jsem na RAF Stapleford a jakmile byl můj motor opraven, vrátil jsem se do Duxfordu.“

P/O Stanislav Fejfar

The pilot of the crippled Heinkel is believed to have attempted a forced-landing in an isolated area of Woolwich Arsenal, allocated for the hazardous task of shelling-filling, but one of its wings hit a coal dump causing it to crash into a water-filled moat and it exploded near Tripcock Pier. Of the crew; Feldwebel Arnold Benz, Feldwebel Alois Schweiger, Unteroffizier Heinrich Meyer and Unteroffizier Georg Geiger were killed, while Feldwebel Michael Cionber is believed to have baled out. He was captured badly wounded and was subsequently admitted to the Royal Herbert Hospital.

Pilot poškozeného Heinkelu se zřejmě pokusil o nouzové přistání v uzavřené oblasti továrny na výrobu střeliva v londýnském Woolwichi, ale jedno z jeho křídel zavadilo o hromadu uhlí a stroj následně havaroval do příkopu naplněného vodou. Nedaleko tripcockského mola pak explodoval. Členové posádky, Feldwebel Arnold Benz, Feldwebel Alois Schweiger, Unteroffizier Heinrich Meyer a Unteroffizier Georg Geiger, zemřeli. Feldwebel Michael Cionber pravděpodobně vyskočil na padáku, upadl do zajetí a s vážnými zraněními byl převezen do Royal Herbert Hospital.

Some of the wreckage of this aircraft lay undisturbed until 1986 when the Arsenal was being developed to form part of the new Thamesmead Estate. Items including two MG 15 machine-guns, sections of armour plate, main undercarriage leg and tyre, large section of the gondola, coins etc where unearthed and are on show in the museum.

Část vraku tohoto stroje zůstala na místě až do roku 1986, kdy se v oblasti bývalé továrny začalo stavět a vyrostla zde část nového Thamesmead Estate.
Jeho části, včetně kulometů MG-15, částí ochranných kovových plátů, nohy hlavního podvozku, velká část gondoly, mince a další věci. Uskutečnily se zde vykopávky a v současnosti můžete tyto artefakty spatřit v muzeu.

Gondala section.
Gondola

Undercarriage leg.
Noha podvozku

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Heinkel He 111H-2 bomber A1+DA is the latest addition to the Museums expanding range of Battle of Britain items in its collection which have a Czechoslovak connection.

Bombardér Heinkel He-111H-2 A1-DA je nejnovějším přírůstkem v rozšiřující se sbírce předmětů z bitvy o Británii. Naleznete v ní i artefakty připomínající Čechoslováky.

Some 2938 Allied airmen flew in the Battle of Britain, of whom 88 were Czechoslovak some of whom have artefacts in the Museum. Of particular interest for visitors from the Czech and Slovak Republics is the display of some of the remains of Hurricane Mk I, V7437, in which Sgt Josef Koukal was badly burnt when he was shot down on 7 September 1940. His aircraft crashed on farmland at Capel Fleet, Harty Marshes on the Isle of Sheppey. Kent and was recovered, buried some 10 metres deep, in 1972. Later that year he came from Czechoslovakia to England to see the remains of his aircraft at the Museum. On his return to his homeland, he was subjected to StB interrogation which precluded any return visits to the UK.

Bitvy o Británii se zúčastnilo přibližně 2938 spojeneckých pilotů, mezi nimi i 88 Čechoslováků. Některé z československých pilotů připomínají i artefakty v majetku muzea. U návštěvníků z Česka a Slovenska se největšímu zájmu těší pozůstatky Hurricanu Mk I, V7437, ve kterém utrpěl 7. září 1940 těžké popáleniny Sgt. Josef Koukal. Jeho stroj, který havaroval na pole v Capel Street na Harty Marshes na Isle od Sheppey v Kentu, byl objeven v roce 1972 v hloubce přibližně deset metrů. Tentýž rok si přijel Sgt. Koukal z Československa prohlédnout trosky svého letadla v muzeu. Po návratu domů byl vyslýchán StB a následně mu byly znemožněny další návštěvy Velké Británie.

Other Czechoslovak artefacts include items from František Hradil’s Spitfire P7545, Josef František, a combat report from Bohumír Fürst, Raimund Půda also visited the Museum to see remains of his Hurricane V6619, František Marek’s Spitfire, Václav Bergman’s Hurricane P3960, Josef Hubáček’s Hurricane R4087, as well as from Vilém Göth, Josef Jaške and Svatopluk Janouch. Artefacts for George Blackwood, Gordon Sinclair and John Boulton, who were British instructors to 310 Sqn at Duxford, are also displayed in the Museum.

K dalším artefaktům československých letců zde patří části Spitfiru P7545, který pilotoval František Hradil, věci připomínající Josefa Františka, hlášení o boji Bohumíra Fürsta. Také Rajmund Půda navštívil muzem, aby viděl zbytky svého Hurricanu V6619, části Spitfiru Františka Mareka, Hurricanu P3960 patřícího Václavu Bergmanovi, Hurricanu R4087 Josefa Hubáčka a strojů Viléma Götha, Josefa Jaškeho a Svatopluka Janoucha. Jsou zde k vidění i artefakty George Blackwooda, Gordona Sinclaira a Johna Boultona, instruktorů 310. perutě v Duxfordu.

A new addition for the 2019 season is the inclusion of a Czechoslovak Sgt pilot in the Armoury display of uniforms.

Novým přírůstkem pro sezónu 2019 je figurína československého pilota v hodnosti seržanta umístěná ve zbrojnici, v oddělení uniforem.

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18.6.20. – Jindrichuv Hradec







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Czechoslovak Fighter Squadrons on D-Day






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